Tonight was beautiful again. A Clear, Dark Sky. The seeing was a bit mushy at high power, but other than that it was wonderful.
I tried something new again. A week or two ago, I picked up a pair of
Astro Engineering "Nite Saver Goggles". I did a test the night I got
them and they did make a difference. But tonight, I wore them even
longer. About an hour before I went out to observe.
wore them while I did some work on my computer and when I went outside,
it was amazing. After walking right from my office to the back yard I
could see the Andromeda galaxy naked eye! To make sure I was seeing
what I thought I was, I pulled it up in the scope with the telrad and
sure enough... right in the center of the view. Not only was it in the
center of the view, but I could ealily see the much fainter M110 as
well which clocks in at 8.9 mag.
So I thought I'd go for a fainter object.
The Veil Nebula. This thing is nearly invisible anyway without the OIII
filter. I pointed the scope at it and wow, sure enough I could see it.
I thre the filter on and could see detail in the nebula. Not 2 minutes
ago I was in my house, in my office working on my computer and now I'm
looking at detail in the Veil Nebula! Amazing. These things really work.
From there I pulled up a few new objects I'm trying to memorize the locations of as well as a few favorites from last year.
NGC 6229 - Globular Cluster
wa only just outsde of my field of view when I pointed my scope where I
thought I was. I threw some power on it to try and resolve some stars,
but boy, this one doesn't resolve well from my backyard. This is a 9.7
mag globular. I'll pull it up at the dark sky party next weekend and
see if I can resolve anything from there.
NGC 6210 - Planetary Nebula
I'm getting this one's location as well. I cannot resolve
the central star in this one. It looks almost exactly like the Blue
Snowball in Andromeda. It's definitely colorful, this nebula is blue
looking straight at it.
NGC 752 - Open Cluster
is a this is a large open cluster at 50 arc minutes in diameter. My
40mm eyepiece at 37 power frames this object ncely. Thre are not many
really bright stars in it, but it stands out from the stars around it
that it's a large cluster.
M33 (Triangulum Pinwheel) - Galaxy
was no detail to be made out in this tonight. I feel I should be able
to see some modeling in this galaxy because it's so large and bright,
but the best I can seem to do from my backyard is get a large fuzzy patch about 1/2 degree wide.
M76 (Little Dumbbell) - Planetary Nebula
small one. A bit difficult to see as I'm hunting for it as low power. I
couldn't remember it's exact location, but I knew the vacinity. After a
bit of hunting I found it and immediately threw more power at it. 150x
was nice for this one, but 300 was better. Because I begin to lose a
little light as thepower increases it was a bit brighter at 150x. It's
funny how the (Big) Dumbbell M27 at 60 power is framed almost the exact
same size as M76 is at 300 power! I guess that means M76 is about 5
times smaller than M27.
I waited until Mars came up over the treeline. I could barely get
the planet in focus because of the sky much and viewing at 300 power.
Even still, there was definitely some inconsistency on the planets
surface. I wouldn't call it detail necesarly, but there was a dark
patch or some splotchiness on the planet. Cool. It's currently at -1
mag and .6 AU from Earth.
In it's opposition this year it will peak out at -2.33 mag and .47 AU
from Earth. So it still has some time before even better views of the